LAHORE - Adviser to Punjab Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq has said that Pakistan is not an oil producing country and the resources are limited as compared to population growth.

He said this while addressing a consultative seminar organised by the Policy and Strategy Planning Unit (PSPU) of Health Department at a local hotel for preparing Contraceptive Procurement and Supply Chain Mechanism for tertiary-care hospital.

He said that needs of ever-increasing population cannot be met with the existing resources, therefore, the matter should be given a serious thought. He said that family planning facilities would also be provided in tertiary-care hospitals so that millions of visitors could be sensitised about benefit of small family unit.

Besides DG Health Punjab Dr. Zahid Pervaiz, Director PSPU Ali Bahadur Qazi, Additional Director General Integrated Reproductive, Mother, Neonatal and Child Health (IRMNCH) programme Dr. Ijaz Ahmad Sheikh, Provincial Chief United Nation Fund for Population Association (UNFPA) Dr. Babar Alam, USAID Deliver Project Director Dr. Zafar Ikram and Medical Superintendents of different hospitals attended the seminar.

Dr Babar Alam informed that according to a survey of 2003-04, nine lakh abortions were taking place in Pakistan which almost doubled in 2014. Dr. Ijaz Sheikh said that as compared to primary and secondary level, preventive programmes have not been given due importance at tertiary level.

He said that time has come for Health Department to strengthen family planning programme with the collaboration of Punjab Population Welfare Department. He said that there is a need to provide counseling services to lakhs of male and female patients coming to the tertiary hospitals and there should be a mechanism of uninterrupted supply of contraceptives in these hospitals.

He said that interval in birth would also helpful in reducing maternal mortality and infant mortality rate. Deputy Secretary Punjab Population Welfare Department Dr. Ayesha and other participants of seminar also spoke on the occasion and expressed their views with regard to setting up consolidated mechanism for contraceptives procurement and supply chain for tertiary hospitals. They were of the view that the facilities for population welfare in the said hospitals are very limited which should be substantially increased.

Kh Salman Rafiq said that the slogan of “Healthy Mother” should be popularized as everyone loves and respects mothers. He proposed that services of medical students can be utilized for counseling the people on this issue. He directed to constitute a working group for evolving solid and workable recommendations. He said that population welfare chapter has been included in the Chief Minister’s Health Roadmap programme and medium and long term strategy should be adopted in this regard.